31 May What’s best – canned, fresh or frozen veggies?
You know that eating vegetables is essential for your health, but which type are best: fresh, frozen, or canned. And, what’s the difference? After all, aren’t they all vegetables?
Here’s what you should know about each type.
Canned vegetables tend to be more processed. These are handy to keep around, especially during the winter when storms can keep you in the dark. However, they can lack nutrients and tend to have more sodium than fresh and frozen varieties. If purchasing canned vegetables, look for options without added sodium or preservatives.
Fresh veggies are a great choice, but not always – as they can lose a lot of their nutrients before they’re consumed. Sometimes it takes up to two weeks or more for them to get to your table from the time they’re picked. Unfortunately, i this time frame, they can lose up to 50% of their nutrients.
To keep the most nutrients, cook fresh vegetables for shorter times and at lower temperatures. Use very little water to keep vitamin C and B from disappearing too. Steaming is a much better option than boiling. If you choose to boil your veggies, add them after the water begins to boil.
One of the best ways to get the most nutrients from your fresh vegetables is buying local, seasonal vegetables. Investigate the option of joining a CSA (Community Sourced Agriculture) share, which provides weekly local, seasonal vegetables from a local farm. Not only are you getting the freshest, nutrient dense vegetables available, you are also supporting a local farm!
Interestingly, frozen veggies tend to retain the highest proportion of nutrients. They’re usually flash frozen right after harvesting which keeps them fresh. However be sure to read the labels, as they can be processed with additives like extra salt or sauces.
You can freeze your fresh vegetables from the farmers market, too. One of the best ways to do this is to blanch them first and then freeze. This will ensure nothing goes to waste and that you can enjoy them without losing vital nutrients. Here is a great guide from the Canadian Produce Marketing Association on how to freeze fresh vegetables.
When it comes to vegetables, the bottom line is – eating them is the most important. If canned is the only option available, it’s better to eat it than to skip a serving of vegetables.
In my house, we tend to eat fresh and frozen vegetables. I love frozen for the convenience and the possibility of dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less.
What do you use more – canned, fresh, or frozen veggies? Hit reply and let me know what veggies you use most frequently.